Darity Jr.

William Darity Jr.

Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy, Duke University
Areas of Expertise:
  • Public Sector Reforms
  • Inequality & the Middle Class
  • Education
  • Race & Ethnicity

Connect with William

About William

Darity’s research focuses on inequality by race, class and ethnicity, stratification economics, schooling and the racial achievement gap, North-South theories of trade and development, skin shade and labor market outcomes, the economics of reparations, the Atlantic slave trade and the Industrial Revolution, the history of economics, and the social psychological effects of exposure to unemployment.


Why the U.S. Federal Government Needs to Guarantee Jobs for All Willing Workers

  • Mark Paul
  • Darrick Hamilton


"Race, Wealth and Incarceration: Results from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth" (with Darrick Hamilton and Khaing Zaw). Race and Social Problems 8, no. 1 (2016): 103-115.

Examines data on race and wealth status before and after incarceration to find that, although higher levels of wealth were associated with lower rates of incarceration, the likelihood of future incarceration still was higher for blacks at every level of wealth compared to the white likelihood. Further, finds that racial wealth gaps existed among those who would be incarcerated in the future and also among the previously incarcerated.

"The Political Economy of Education, Financial Literacy, and the Racial Wealth Gap" (with Darrick Hamilton). Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Review 99, no. 1 (2017): 59-76.

Examines the mismatch between the political discourse around individual agency, education, and financial literacy, and the actual racial wealth gap. The authors argue that the racial wealth gap is rooted in socioeconomic and political structure barriers rather than a disdain for or underachievement in education or financial literacy on the part of Black Americans, as might be suggested by the conventional wisdom. Also, the article presents a stratification economic lens as an alternative to the conventional wisdom to better understand why the racial wealth gap persists.

"Wealth Inequalities in Greater Boston: Do Race and Ethnicity Matter?," (with Darrick Hamilton, Tatjana Meshede, Ana Patricia Muñoz, and Regine Jackson), Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, 2016.

Assesses new data from the Boston metropolitan statistical area as part of the National Asset Scorecard for Communities of Color (NASCC) survey to provide detailed information on financial assets that allow analysis to extend beyond the tradition black-white divide.  The findings underscore the large racial and ethnic disparities in financial wealth, and indicate the need for wealth building opportunities in communities of color and further investigation of the causes and consequences of financial disparities between groups of color disaggregated by ancestral origin.

"Looking through the Shades: The Effect of Skin Color on Earnings by Region of Birth and Race for Immigrants to the United States" (with Alexis Rosenblum, Angel L. Harris, and Tod G. Hamilton). Sociology of Race and Ethnicity 2, no. 1 (2015): 87-105.

Examines link between skin shade, perhaps the most noticeable phenotypical characteristic, and wages for immigrants from five regions to determine whether a labor market penalty exists for members of immigrant groups as a result of being phenotypically different from white Americans. 

"The Color of Wealth in the Nation's Capital," (with Mark Paul, Darrick Hamilton, Kilolo Kijakazi, Rachel Marie Brooks Atkins, and Anne E. Price), The Urban Institute, The New School, and the Insight Center for Community Economic Development, 2017.

Explores racial and ethnic differences in net worth, focusing on Black families in Washington, DC, and shows, through a chronicle of their history in the city, how discrimination and systemic racism contributed to today's wealth gap in the nation's capital. 

In the News

William Darity Jr.'s research on black-white wealth gap discussed in Noah SmithWilliam Darity Jr. (with Darrick Hamilton), "How to Reduce the Black-White Wealth Gap," Bloomberg View, April 23, 2018.
William Darity Jr. quoted on a federal jobs guarantee in Dylan Matthews, "Cory Booker’s New Big Idea: Guaranteeing Jobs for Everyone Who Wants One" Vox, April 20, 2018.
William Darity Jr.'s research on Jamelle BouieWilliam Darity Jr. (with Darrick Hamilton), "Mind the Gap," Slate, April 20, 2018.
William Darity Jr. quoted on homeownership and racial wealth inequality in Tanvi Misra, "Does Homeownership Really 'Drive' the Black-White Wealth Gap?" City Lab, April 20, 2018.
William Darity Jr. quoted on racial wealth inequality in Ann Brown, "Is It Possible to Close the Wealth Gap? Only If People Stop Believing Black Folk Just Need to Try Harder" Madamenoire, April 19, 2018.
William Darity Jr. quoted on reducing the racial wealth gap in Eshe Nelson, "Greater Homeownership isn’t the Answer to Ending Wealth Inequality" Quartz, April 19, 2018.
William Darity Jr.'s research on Antonio MooreWilliam Darity Jr. (with Darrick Hamilton), "What We Get Wrong about Closing the Racial Wealth Gap," Fortune, April 16, 2018.
William Darity Jr. quoted in Natalie Sherman, "A True Picture of US Black Jobless Figures" BBC News, February 2, 2018.
"Make Every Child a Trust Fund Baby," William Darity Jr. (with Darrick Hamilton), The News & Observer, January 18, 2018.
William Darity Jr. quoted in Heather Long, "Black Unemployment Falls to Lowest Level on Record" Washington Post, January 5, 2018.
William Darity Jr. quoted in Vann R. Newkirk II, "Instead of Work Requirements, Why Not a Jobs Guarantee?" The Atlantic, January 14, 2018.
William Darity Jr.'s research on Brad WilliamsWilliam Darity Jr. (with Darrick Hamilton), "This Proposal Would Give an Average of $20000 to Every Baby Born in the US," The Kansas City Star, January 11, 2018.
on All Things Considered National Public Radio, William Darity Jr. (with Darrick Hamilton and John Ydstie), January 9, 2018.
William Darity Jr.'s research on universal trusts for US children discussed in Heather LongWilliam Darity Jr. (with Darrick Hamilton), "There's a Serious Proposal to Give Babies Born in the United States $20,000 (or More)," Chicago Tribune, January 9, 2018.
William Darity Jr.'s research on Heather LongWilliam Darity Jr. (with Darrick Hamilton), "There's a Serious Proposal to Give Babies Born in the United States $20000 (or More)," Washington Post, January 8, 2018.
William Darity Jr.'s research on federal job guarantee discussed in Bryce CovertWilliam Darity Jr., "Back to Work," The New Republic, July 18, 2017.
William Darity Jr. quoted on a federal job guarantee in Annie Lowrey, "Should the Government Guarantee Everyone a Job?" The Atlantic, May 17, 2017.
William Darity Jr.'s research on a federal job guarantee discussed in David DayenWilliam Darity Jr., "It’s Time for the Government to Give Everyone a Job," The Nation, May 19, 2017.
Guest to discuss stratified economics on North Carolina Public Radio, William Darity Jr., April 10, 2017.
Guest to discuss the economic legacy of racism on New Economic Thinking, William Darity Jr., September 16, 2016.
William Darity Jr.'s research on spreading the benefits of asset-ownership to all Americans discussed in Lynn ParramoreWilliam Darity Jr. (with Darrick Hamilton), "Baby Bonds: A Plan for Black/White Wealth Equality Conservatives Could Love?," Institute for New Economic Thinking, October 25, 2016.
"Why Black Colleges and Universities Still Matter," William Darity Jr. (with Darrick Hamilton, Tressie McMillan Cottom, Alan A. Aja, and Carolyn Ash), The American Prospect, November 9, 2015.
William Darity Jr. quoted on discrimination in higher education and predominantly white workplaces in Monica Anderson, "Blacks with College Experience More Likely to Say They Faced Discrimination" Pew Research Center Fact Tank, July 27, 2016.
William Darity Jr. quoted on whether or not Trump's proposals for helping poor and middle-class black Americans in Gillian B. White, "Black Wealth in the Age of Trump" The Atlantic, February 7, 2017.
William Darity Jr.'s research on racial disparities in family wealth discussed in Victor RayWilliam Darity Jr. (with Darrick Hamilton), "The Racialization of Academic Funding," Inside HigherEd, February 10, 2017.
"A Guaranteed Federal Jobs Program is Needed," William Darity Jr., Opinion Pages, New York Times, July 11, 2016.
"How Barack Obama Failed Black Americans," William Darity Jr., The Atlantic, December 22, 2016.
"Why We Need a Federal Job Guarantee," William Darity Jr. (with Mark Paul and Darrick Hamilton), Jacobin Magazine, Jacobin Magazine, February 4, 2017.